Stallworth vs Vick

Donte Stallworth will receive a 30-day jail sentence for killing someone while driving drunk.

The relatively lenient sentence received Tuesday by Cleveland Browns wide receiver Donte' Stallworth — 30 days in jail, followed by two years of house arrest — after he pleaded guilty to DUI manslaughter for killing a pedestrian while driving drunk in Florida was made possible by his cooperation with authorities and the victim's family's wishes to move forward.

Stallworth, who had faced up to 15 years in jail, will also be on probation for eight years and must undergo drug and alcohol testing and perform 1,000 hours of community service. He will have a lifetime driver's license suspension, too.

"I accept full responsibility for this horrible tragedy," said Stallworth, accompanied at the hearing by his parents, siblings and other supporters. "I will bear this burden for the rest of my life."

Contrast his punishment with that of Michael Vick. Is there any doubt that something has gone astray in our notions of justice?

In my admittedly simplistic view of justice, law is a social contract to keep the peace between humans. Locking someone up is serious business. It's essentially barbaric in nature: instead of a human being able to walk freely, eat, make choices, and pursue the good life, we put him in a cage. Only someone who is a danger to other humans warrants such a barbaric punishment. Animals are not a party to this social contract.

Yet Stallworth's punishment pales in comparison to Vick's.

Related:

No Rights for Animals by Constant
We Are All (or Mostly) Mike Vick by C. J. Trillian (I have it on good authority that someone gave up meat after reading this post)

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Punishment

Vick also couldn't pay off the dogs, like Stallworth paid off the family of the victim.

The family is going along with the sentence, and he has a lifetime prohibition from operating a motor vehicle (which covers that portion). All parties seem to be in agreement on punishment.

Ah the fallacy of isodomy.

Ah the fallacy of isodomy. Just because Vick was unjustly punished, doesn't mean people have to be unjustly punished to the same extent. The most important thing here is the family's wish to move forward. Since we cannot know the intent of the dead, it's natural to ask the family.

(I for one would like any drunk driver killing me to be harshly punished, regardless of what my family say. There it is, it's in writing.)

And no, law isn't a social contract. This all idea is circular since contracts are supposed to be a part of law... So the argument goes : "Oh, look, contracts are obviously good and natural right", well law is some kind of big collectivist contract that you don't really agree with. It's absurd to borrow from natural right to establish a "social contract" theory. I think Constant wrote on that more eloquently.